Veterans of the Vietnam War, Inc.
Statement / Book List / Links
page on the Veterans of the Vietnam War, Inc. website, is dedicated
to five distinct groups that make up the hub of the Prisoner of War/Missing
in Action issue from all wars.
To all Americans who have been imprisoned in any war. Each person who
has worn the uniform and fought the battle understands the nature of
sacrifice. And while our military history reflects the glories associated
with our victories, it also reflects the tragedies inherent in war...those
men and women who have made the supreme sacrifice; those who have returned
maimed and wounded, many of whom will never be whole again...all, combat
veterans. Anyone caught in a firefight, flying through flak, patrolling the
jungle or desert dunes while sensing ambush or working desperately to
perform triage in a make-shift hospital is a prisoner of war. But we owe a
special debt of respect and gratitude to those who were captured and yet
still kept faith, even while deprived of their freedom, victimized by brutal
tortures by captors whose nations could not be viewed on a plane of moral
equality with other civilized nations. War behind barbed wire is a war
waged against hunger, disease, brutality, fear, boredom and the temptation
to yield to self pity and despair.
The prisoner of war story is on of how humans endured under desperate
conditions and triumphed over appalling adversities. As a prisoner of war
you find yourself in a dimension alien to one ever experienced before and
live through a roller coaster of emotional experiences that are both
debilitating and devastating. It is so humbling and despairing to learn
that your life is of such small value or concern to your enemy. As Winston
Churchill, a former POW said, "You are in the power of your enemy, you owe
your life to his humanity and your daily bread to his compassion. You must
obey his orders; go where he tells you, stay where you are bid..."
When we hear the Star Spangled Banner, we are reminded that our
National Anthem, symbol of freedom and liberty was written by a prisoner of
war. Francis Scott Key wrote the words while imprisoned on a British battle
-ship off Fort McHenry during the War of 1812.
In the words of Arnold
Bocksel, former Japanese Prisoner of War,
who lived through the horrors of the Bataan-Corregidor Death March..."The
POW experience is like having a serious wound that eventually heals but
leaves a permanent ugly scar. We who have survived do not consider
ourselves as heroes...only survivors...If there were any heroes among us, it
was those who perished...Those who gave up their tomorrow's so we could
have our today's".
To the Families:
America's POW's and servicemen and servicewomen have met the test of
personal honor and so have the families of those still missing from past
American wars. For these families, the wounds of conflict have been
especially slow to heal. For them, there has been no joyous reunions, nor
even the solace of certainty ratified by a flag draped casket and the solemn
sound of taps. There has been no grave to visit and often no peace from
gnawing doubt. For them, there has been only the search for answers through
the years, with little support from their own government; many having their
personal efforts stonewalled by a bureaucracy with "a mind-set to debunk".
Their search for answers is understandable because to them, POW/MIA is not
merely an issue or a symbolic figure on a black and white flag, it is a
sibling, a parent, a spouse or a child. These families deserve our nation's
gratitude and to them we pay tribute. As long as there is one family member
dissatisfied with the governments answers as to the fate of their loved one
...we will still be in business.
To those who keep the issue
To those who fight against forgetting; the veterans and activists,
who never stop pushing for answers to their persistent questions and
students with an unquenchable thirst for knowledge and truth. TO the select
few brave souls in journalism and the media who dare to expose the cover-ups
and denials. To those American citizens and their comrades from other
countries who demand the truth by constantly asking "WHY?" and "WHAT IS
First, we salute those in position in all governments who rule the
people through trust, morality and the truth. We honor those who dare to
raise the consciousness surrounding the truth of accountability before
closure by giving their time and energy to chair committees, spending
countless hours reading intelligence and who challenge their colleagues who
policy-making positions. These honorable men and women who rattle cages on
behalf of our missing American service personnel, sometimes risking their
own careers and personal safety, are also heroes.
Second, we challenge those
in government who use their elected or
appointed office for their own hidden agenda. These are the public
officials who put up smoke screens and debunk credible evidence produced
by credible witnesses. We challenge the uneducated Senators and
Congressional Representatives to listen and learn the facts concerning the
POW/MIA issue and to take a positive stand when forming legislation which
will affect, not only past U.S. service personnel but those who serve
today and plan to protect our freedom tomorrow.
To Future Military Service
It is you, the young men and women of the United States of America,
that the Veterans of the Vietnam War, Inc. dedicates this last part of this
page to. When you raise your right hand to defend the Constitution, you
need to know that should you become missing in action your government will
make EVERY EFFORT to account for you and bring you home. In an essence, our
advocacy for the POW/MIA issue is your insurance policy.
Amidst the uncertainties of
war, every soldier is entitled to one
certainty...that he will not be forgotten. As a former POW Eugene "Red"
McDaniel stated...as an American asked to serve, I was prepared to fight, to
be wounded, to be captured and even prepared to die, but I was not
prepared to be abandoned. It is that one American is not worth the effort
to be found, we, as Americans, have lost.
The Veterans of the Vietnam
War, Inc. have again taken up arms and
are fully prepared to do battle with the enemy. Our weapons are the truth,
support of protective legislation, and faith in God to give us strength to
reach our goal of an honest accounting of our POW's and MIA's. We invite you
to join us here at the website where we will provide up-to-date information
and action sheets for you to respond to. We have a book list for expanding
your knowledge and addresses to other POW/MIA links.
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THE BAMBOO CAGE
by Nigel Cawthorne
Barnes and Noble, Publishers
"The full story of the American Servicemen Still Held Hostage in South-East Asia"
"Major Mark Smith, a highly decorated Vietnam Veteran ...former POW...accorded the honor of being the first off the plane...during Operation Homecoming...worked with Sergeant Melvin McIntire...went on missions to Laos...brought back evidence, reported this...told there is no interest in the part of the United States Government!"
KISS THE BOYS GOODBYE
by Monika Jensen-Stevenson
Barnes and Noble, Publishers
"How the United States Betrayed it's own POW's in Vietnam"
"In 1985, Jensen-Stevenson was developing a segment for 60 Minutes on ex-marine Bobby Garwood, who escaped from Vietnam in 1979...claimed to be a prisoner of war...the government disagreed and convicted him...of collaboration with the enemy, burying his story of prisoners along with his reputation."
THE MEN WE LEFT BEHIND
by Mark Sauter and Jim Sanders
The U.S. Veteran Dispatch - 1-800-452-8906 (information)
"Explores secret Communist offers to ransom American POW's and the explosive evidence that some Americans were secretly returned to the United States years after the war ended."
by John G. Brown
John M.G. Brown, P.O. Box 30, Patrolia, CA 95558 (order info)
"Policy, Politics and the POW/MIA Dilemma"
RICE MEN AND BARBED WIRE
by Arnold A Bocksel
Michael B Glass & Associates (Publishers)
"A True Epic of Americans as Japanese POW's"
"...the person who wrote this narrative is still alive today, more than 45 years after the events..." Mr. Bocksel survived in Japanese POW camps of World War II...thousands taken prisoner from The American Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor did not survive.
"It is now April 1945...been prisoners a long, long time...hard...to realize that we survivors have to endure so long...the survivors were the stronger ones...so far the 'luckier' ones...no denying that death was a kind release for many thought we would never get out alive."
SCARS AND STRIPES
by Eugene B. McDaniel, Capt. USN
American Defense Institute - 703-519-7000 (order info)
"The True Story of One Man's Courage in Facing Death as a Vietnam POW"
"During the long night hours...through the endless months of captivity, I learned to pray drawing on the goodness of God...My strength to face each new crack of light meant another day...first light on, I was forced to face the grittiness of clinging to the narrow edge of survival."
SOLDIERS OF MISFORTUNE
by Mark Sauter, Jim Sanders and R. Cort Kirkwood
The U.S. Veteran Dispatch - 1-800-452-8906 (order info)
"Washington's Secret Betrayal of American POW's in the Soviet Union"
"...Thousands of American POW's held captive by the Soviet Union...United States government officials who lied about their fate." "Authors neared the truth...top level Pentagon officials attempted to 'neutralize' and silence them...to bury the truth from the public."
AFTER THE HERO'S WELCOME
by Dorothy McDaniel
"A POW Wife's Story of the Battle Against a New Enemy"
"...for six years in a POW camp. Dorothy did not know whether Red was alive...At home, she waged a battle on two fronts: one against the Hanoi government...the second against Washington politicians who...didn't seem to care about Red and the others missing."
United States Senate Select Committee On POW/MIA Affairs
January 13, 1993
202-224-7880 (order info)
"The Committee's purpose...Our nation has been haunted by the possibility that some of the missing may have survived and that, somewhere in Southeast Asia, brave men remain in captivity...it (Select Committee) was created to investigate and tell publicly the complete story about what our government has known, and what it is doing and has done on behalf of our POW/MIA's."
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National Alliance of Families - http://www.nationalalliance.org/
Advocacy & Intelligence Index - Fax Network - http://www.aiipowmia.com/
Library of Congress - POW Database - http://lcweb2.loc.gov/pow/powhome.html
Roger and Pam Young's HomePage - http://members.aol.com/bear317/nwvets.htm
Col. Ted Guy - Former Pow- Take a journey to the Hanoi Hilton & attached villas http://www.soft-vision.com/hanoi/index1.html AND Visit Hawk's Page on the World Wide Web http://www.iland.net/~tedguy
Robert Weaver's - York County, PA, Remembers! http://members.tripod.com/~bobbymeisters/index.html
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The book list and list of related links are not neccessarily the thoughts and views of Veterans of the Vietnam War, Inc.. They appear on this page as a way for people to obtain information, to expand their knowledge and to disseminate the information as the reader or viewer wishes! Thank You.
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Veterans of the Vietnam War, Inc.
Last edited: 12/30/99